Saturday, June 6, 2020

Dressing down for respect and to blend in?

Someone asked on a forum recently:

As a woman, have you found dressing femininely has any downside professionally?

I felt my repsonse was bloggable:

This is an interesting topic for me.

When I first transitioned at work, I was learning to dress. I tended to try to dress casual (for the software field) and I experimented with what I liked , didn't like, was appropriate, not appropriate, etc.

For a while there, I found I would 'dress down' so as to 'blend in' and not have my trans-ness questioned.

At some point, I said screw that noise and started dressing more femininely. Dresses, skirt suits, heels, etc. Mostly exclusively.

At one job I did have someone spread a rumor that I was a 'transvestite', mind you i'd never come out to my employer or coworkers at this job. That rumor was a huge hit to my ego and my style and soon after I left that job.

I started at a new place and still kept up with my outfits the way I liked them mostly. One random day I wore suit pants or jeans or something and someone commented on 'wow I dont think I've ever seen you in pants' (implying I always wore skirts/dresses). Mixed feelings about these types of comments. On one hand I felt like 'shit, do they assume I'm trans?' but on the other hand I felt like 'That's right. I like dresses and style.'

Over the years I've come to OWN the fact that I like to dress nicer than most software developers. And every new job I tend to have to 'train' everyone to realize that yes 'she is always dressed nice'. At my latest job they had a fun 'fancy friday' competition and I kept winning it so I opted to become one of the judges instead lol.

As for respect, I feel like unfortunately yes, people who have not worked with me and see me for the first time often judge me like I'm some bimbo.....BUT just like training people to get used to seeing me wearing nice clothes, people who work with me come to understand very quickly that I'm not just sharp but also that I don't take shit from people. haha

What's my point? I guess live your life. I tell myself over and over, I didn't transition to dress down in jeans and tees lol. But everyone has their own style and life.
Find yours. <3

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